Monday, February 13, 2012

Chicago, Chicago!

For my mom's 60th birthday, which is just around the corner, my sister's and I decided we should celebrate with a GIRLS'S TRIP! We began planning back in November and gave mom her plane ticket for Christmas.... it is so hard to believe our trip has FINALLY come and gone!!!

We left bright and early on Thursday and made it to Chicago in the early afternoon. Rachy was there to meet us. And we were off!! Once we got to our hotel, we were all starving, so we set off in search of something, anything to eat. We just happened to stumble upon Pizza Due, which was at the top of our "TO EAT" list :) Since was 3:30p.m., there was no one there. Lucky us! (When we walked by at dinner time, there was a line around the corner!) Our waitress told us that a medium would be enough for us, but we were starving so we ordered a salad too... ummmm, one piece would have been enough! Our salads were HUGE (and delicious) and when the pizza finally came, I think we were already full! The pizza was SO yummy and I am not sure any of us could even finish one slice! They don't call it "deep dish" for nothing! We thoroghly enjoyed our 1st culinary experience in Chicago :) After eating, we decided to just walk around. Our hotel was on the 'Magnificent Mile' so there was anything and everything right around us! We stopped in Trader Joe's, a 3-story Forever 21 (not so great), and one of the highlight's of our trip, Garrett's Popcorn. Let me just tell you, as soon as you turned the corner, you could smell the store... When we walked in, I think we all gained 5 lbs just from the smell! Ha! We settled on a jumbo bag of carmel corn with pecans. It weighed about 10 lbs and was warm and wonderful! We barely put a dent into it, but OH MY GOODNESS, it was good! After traveling all day, we were in the hotel and ready for bed at about 7:00.... We were off to a good start :)

On day two began with Starbucks, which was in our hotel! AWESOME! It was a little colder than day 1, but still way above normal for Chicago. We decided to do a little sightseeing. First stop, the BEAN! On our way to Millenium Park, we walked past a larger than life Marilyn Monroe, the Chicago Tribune, and some amazing architecture. The BEAN was very cool, there were also lots of sculptures and things to do at the Park It would be lots of fun in warm weather :) From there we headed to State St. There we began shopping..... and shopping and shopping..... There were just so many stores to choose from! We went into H&M, Nordstrom Rack, Anthropologie... for lunch we found WOW BAO. It was so good and different. Since our lunch was fairly light, we decided we could stop by Magnolia Bakery for a little treat! I got a carmel cupcake... it was amazing! I swear you could taste the butter in the icing. (I know it sounds like all we did was eat, and we did eat alot, BUT we walked more... so don't judge :) After a few more shops, and stopping by the world's greatest Walgreen's (seriously, Walgreeen's in Texas are a total letdown) we headed back to our hotel to unwind and get ready for dinner. I was so tired when we got back... I think we walked for about 6 hours straight. Dinner on Friday night was at Tavern on Rush. IT WAS AMAZING! I had filet oscar... Best ever. Period. We all shared a caprese salad, Mom and Mon got seared tuna. It was delicious, even though Mon had a slight allergic reaction to it! She turned BRIGHT red... it was a little scary. Rach had a steak, she thought it was amazing too. I think we all agreed that it was the BEST meal of the trip. We were all so full, we didn't even order dessert! Highly unusual :) HA!

Day three began, once again, with Starbucks (what better way to start the day?!?). We walked around a bit, but this day, Chicago lived up to it's name, THE WINDY CITY... and it was a COLD wind! We made it to Portillo's for lunch. We all got a Chicago dog... which I have been CRAVING since about November :) It was so good. This place was pretty cool too. Apparently known for their Italian beef sandwiches also. After lunch, we headed to the Navy Pier. I am sure this place is packed in the summer. So many things to do and a great view of the water, but definitely the most "touristy" place we went. We rode the gigantic ferris wheel. I am glad we rode it and we got quite a view of the city, but I am really glad I didn't get sick on there. I absolutely HATE heights and ferris wheels... What was I thinking??? After making it safely to firm ground, we went into the shopping area. Once we had gotten our fill, we headed to Oak St. Otherwise known as HEAVEN :) (If you have lots of $$) We went into David Yurman and Tory Burch, where my money was burning a huge hole in my pocket... begging to be spent! We past Prada, Jimmy Choo, and every other store I was dying to go into, but knew if I came out with anything, I might not live to see tomorrow :) (CHRIS!!!) On the way back to the hotel we stopped in more stores, and I, Jessica Stone, officially became shopped out. That night we went to Trattoria No. 10 for dinner. It was a great little Italian restaurant. We all enjoyed it, and had a wonderful dessert. It was time to call it a night... we had had a LONG day!

Day four, Sunday, we had to pack up and get ready to check out and go home. We had brunch at Yolk. Mon and I had the HUGEST and yummiest crepes! We only ate 1, so we took our extras and gave them to a hungry man on the street. We did a little more shopping and had to return a few things, and then we were ready to go! It was such a fun trip and we made so many memories! But I was SO ready to see my guys!

Happy (Early) Birthday, Mom! Hope you had as much fun as I did! Chicago was such an amazing city and it was even better sharing it with you, Mon and Rach!

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